CoS Exclusive Features

Who’s the Greatest Drummer of All Time? Round One

on May 01, 2014, 4:15pm
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Update: Voting is closed! Click here to vote in round two.

Last week, we asked you to submit your top three contenders for the title: Greatest Drummer of All Time. We received thousands upon thousands of submissions, ranging from Neil Peart to Travis Barker to even Animal of The Muppets. After spending a good afternoon collating them all together, we came up with an appropriate tournament bracket entirely based on your responses.

drummers (1)

So, over the next month, we’re going to host a round of matches each week, in which we’ll ask you to vote on each matchup to take us to the next round. By the game’s end, we’ll finally know which guy with the sticks reigns supreme. As always, we encourage a discussion in the comments below, but please be civil. In other words, more Ringo Starr and less Keith Moon.

Don’t forget: The voting booth is on the last page.

games Whos the Greatest Drummer of All Time? Round One

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Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Vinnie Colaiuta? Dave Weckl?

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 12:13 am

My thoughts exactly!!!

Nabs
May 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm

How does Neal not automatically win??? Followed closely by Buddy Rich and Stewart Copeland. Thats it right there. 1st, 2nd, 3rd!

Jeff
May 1, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Nabs, those are my picks, right on the button.

kenaniah
June 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm

i definitely agree with your winner NABS

Anonymous
June 12, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I love Neil as much as anyone, but (as others have pointed out) there can be no objective “Greatest Drummer of All Time” contest on a Rush site, nor can there be ONE “greatest drummer”. Of course Peart’s going to win! If you post the same contest on a Zeppelin site Bonzo’s going to win, and Ian Paice would win on a Purple site contest. This exercise should’ve been called what it really was: the “Favorite Drummer of All Time”.

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Jim Gordon.

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm

The way this should play out…

Round 1 Winners

Neil Peart
Keith Moon

Ginger Baker
Mike Portnoy

Bill Bruford
Buddy Rich

Phil Collins
Danny Carey

Round 2 Winners

Neil Peart
Mike Portnoy

Bill Bruford
Phil Collins

Round 3 Winners

Neil Peart
Bill Bruford

Winner (though VERY close)

Neil Peart

Ric
May 1, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Concur.

Ed
May 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Agree with all of your picks except Bruford over Rich- you can’t go there.

Travis
May 1, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Really? You think Phil Collins would beat Stewart Copeland? NO WAY! Copeland All day dude.

Alan
May 5, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Neil Peart is only the best

Anonymous
May 21, 2014 at 9:37 am

my thoughts are completely subjective. Rush are extremely competent, but about the worst thing that can spew out of rock, absolutely no roll, no point no song that has made a mark in the collective conscious. Jimi Hendrix could not be further away from that kind of churchy dross and Mitch was so integral in bringing about Jimi’s best. It is a stupid comparison. If Mitch had to race against Peart in the drum equivalent of an Olympic event Neil wins. If it is about moving hearts and souls Rush are not in the stadium

Anonymous
September 17, 2014 at 5:57 pm

You couldn’t have said it any better my friend.

C Cormier
May 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Neil Peart

bobwilliamson
May 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm

the title is wrong,it should read”the second best drummer in the world”competition.
Mr. peart won’t mind though

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:45 pm

I agree…….. With Who????? This should be…….. Who is the SECOND best drummer………NO ONE, I Mean MO ONE even comes CLOSE to………………..the edge………… No not yes………No One comes close to The Working Man!!!!!!! Neil Peart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mac Seigel
May 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Ahem…. Neil didn’t play drums on Working Man….

Chuck McMahon
May 1, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Actually, Neal has played Working Man MANY MANY times…

Liam Ryan
May 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm

WTF? Where’s Bill Ward? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxBUuuOjycA

Dave
May 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Agreed. I’m not saying Ward or anyone else is better than Peart, but he should at least be in the running. The lack of great drummers from Metal/pre-Metal on this list is just disappointing. Where’s Peter Criss? Lars Ulrich, Vince Abbott, Nicko McBrain? I’m not saying any of them are the greatest, but to leave them off the list – in favor of who – Ringo Starr?!! C’mon man, I know teenagers that play better than Ringo! Sure, he played in the most influential band of all time. Lucky. And I don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone, but I thought it was “greatest drummer,” not the “most mediocre musician to luck out by being in one of the most important bands of all time” contest. I guess you can’t put everyone on the list.

H-Man
May 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Bruford. Bill Bruford is the greatest of all time. In his prime, he probably could have- and would have- done anything.

Dan Moritz
May 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Peart, Harrison and Portnoy all stacked on one side of the bracket! Not fair to the other bracket!

Jacob Alexander Badaszewski
May 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Buddy Rich, no question.

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Definately Buddy Rich no doubt that he didn’t hide the fact that he believed he was the best because he was and always will be in my opinion

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 11:08 pm

on johnny carson buddy rich said in his opinion its neil peart

Luciferase
May 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm

No question that Buddy Rich should bow off this list in favor of Max Roach, Elvin Jones, or Art Blakey.

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Gene Krupa

douglas porter
May 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm

finally, some one who has GOOD taste in drumming done proper.

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

vinnie colaiuta

Anonymous
May 24, 2014 at 11:24 am

NOW we’re talking

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Peart vs. Moon in the 2nd round and a cupcake bracket below them. Not right.

jay
May 2, 2014 at 12:21 am

Portnoy cupcake?

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Steve Gadd?

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 8:37 am

My first thought of missing drummers was definitely Steve Gadd. Another, though many seem to have forgotten him, was Ed Shaughnessy (best known as The Tonight Show w/ Johnny Carson’s drummer). Or Terri Bozzio? There can be no such things as “the best.” Maybe “my favorite, or most influential (on me)

jeff martin (@27darkstar9)
May 1, 2014 at 9:29 pm

The ginger baker video is Keith moon…Fix it!!!!

Renee Watson
May 1, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Neil Peart!

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Where is Roger Taylor!?

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 2:38 am

Being in the greatest band doesn’t make Roger Taylor the greatest drummer

Chris M
May 4, 2014 at 12:19 am

Yes! Love Duran Duran!

Kevin
May 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Neil Peart

Philco Maynard
May 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm

ummmm, other? Since the greatest isn’t on this list. NIEL!

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm

if it isn’t Neil..

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Some of these guys were paired very unfairly! Portnoy v Star… Really??.

Steven
May 1, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Right? I thought that was a little messed up too.

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm

No colaiuta? Are you guys crazy?

colin
May 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Joey jordison or Danny carry

Brandon
May 1, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Dave Lombardo and George Koliass have to be in here

caitlin
May 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm

maybe spell “neil peart” correctly……

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Neil Peart = winner

Thomas Anthony Clark
May 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Neil Peart really got me interested in drumming. Although he has amazing technique and skill, I have to say that Jimmy Chamberlin is my favorite drummer. Perhaps a bit biased because the Smashing Pumpkins is also my favorite band.

Thomas Anthony Clark
May 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Buddy Rich though must have been the PIONEER of technique and skill.

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Aw come on dude. The Pumpkins and Jimmy were great, Im a big fan, but Jimmy isnt even in the same league with a lot of the players, let alone Neil and Buddy Rich. No offense, just my opinion.

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm

No vinnie colaiuta? Seriously???

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Vinnie would be my choice

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 3:58 am

Amen. Vinnie is considered by most professional drummers as one of the greatest ever. …and he isn’t even on the list.

Aldo
May 2, 2014 at 7:47 am

Why include Colaiuta when there is a very better drummer like Ringo, hahahahahahaha

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Jaki Liebezeit’s omission is very unprofessional

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Amen

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Preach.

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Jaki Liebeziet is a machine. It hardly seems fair to pair a machine with mere men. Look at what happened to poor John Henry.

Anonymous
May 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Agreed

clap on 2 and 4 not 1 and 3
May 11, 2014 at 5:42 am

Brian Blade? Tony Williams? Elvin Jones? Max Roach? Roy Haynes? Idris Mohammed? Jim Keltner? Bob Moses?

I could go on for days, but seriously – even though most drummers on this ‘list’ are either great or merely capable, c’mon now…And I mean, who the fuck is that Harrison guy who’s getting down on ‘the chicken’ on letterman? Some kind of joke, right? Really???!!!

Jaki Liebezeit!!!!! That’s what I’m talking about.

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Is this a trick question? There can be only one!!!

Fox
May 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm

When does voting start? Danny Carey is going up, for me.

Jeremy B. Parker
May 2, 2014 at 11:01 am

I know Ringo was in the Beatles, but come on!!!! One of the greatest. Tim Alexander was overlooked on this. I say Danny Carrey takes this.

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 11:51 am

Putting Jimmy up against Danny is just isn’t fair. He recorded “United States” off Zeitgiest in one take without a click track; the guy is a drum machine,

But Neil or Danny walk with this.

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm

ANIMAL…………….the Muppets!!!!

Anonymous
May 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm

no zach hill……

Anonymous
May 2, 2014 at 3:22 pm

yes.

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